The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is all fired up about Marshall University's policy on free speech, going so far as to name it as the "Speech Code of the Month," a way of blasting colleges for prohibiting a "staggering amount of constitutionally protected speech."
This was based on Marshall's written policies.
Yet when interviewed by Davin White of the Charleston Gazette, Robert Shibley, the foundation's senior vice president, apparently could not cite an example of suppression at Marshall.
In fact, Shibley had to concede that Marshall did the right thing in at least one instance.
Marshall officials cited a student last spring for defacing a sidewalk chalk message that announced an upcoming meeting of the Lambda organization, a group friendly to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.
The student was offended by the group's message. Punishing him actually protected free speech.
Shibley of FIRE said his group would not have defended the man who defaced the message.
Another case involved a student who wore a hockey mask like a serial killer does in horror films and frightened several students. Shibley said schools don't need speech codes to deal with such activity. University officials could simply approach the student and ask him not to wear the mask.